Subscriber Services Weather

Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mincing words

Thanks for all your patience and kind words, folks. I anticipate being off my crutches and gimp-free in another two or three days. And Og, thanks for the tips on refurbishing my sword cane. I plan on giving that a go some time next weekend.

At any rate, this post is not about anything earth shattering, nothing too deep, just a pet peeve. I have always had a major bone to pick with people and groups that won't say what they mean. It goes along the same lines as my distaste for passive-aggressiveness.

There are always exceptions. But in my mind, only two exceptions are good ones: romance, and respect. If you're head over heels for someone you're just getting to know or deeply in love with someone you're already in a relationship with, sometimes you just can't help but dance around a subject. Maybe it's because you're fumbling for just the right words, or maybe it's because you're trying to be careful not to hurt their feelings. As for respect, I don't think I'd ever refer to my obese friend as "obese" to another person. Instead, seriously, I might refer to that friend as "hefty," or "portly," or "stout," even. One of those words would make it clear that my friend was big. And I would never refer to an elderly person as "elderly" or "old" in the presence of another older person who was sensitive about his/her age. Instead, I might refer to them as "mature." person.

But that's it. No more exceptions. When I hear a car dealer at a used lot refer to a vehicle as "pre-owned," or "gently pre-owned," it pisses me off.

So you might understand why the sign below irritated me at the grocery store over the weekend. I was already annoyed, because my ankle was hurting. But as I hobbled along dutifully with Mrs. B, she stopped to get some protein. I guess pregnant women aren't supposed to eat deli meats, 'cause of a possible bacteria that can negatively affect them. So she was looking at the meat free stuff, and this sign was mounted above that section:

And these products were on the shelf:

???????

Did I miss something? When did tofu become an "alternative meat?" An alternative to meat, I get. Meat grows on bones. Meat grows on things that run and walk and swim and fly - the distinctions between red meat, poultry, and fish, notwithstanding.

I have no beef - ha ha, no pun intended - with tofu and other alternatives. Different strokes. But I just can't stand the dancing around. Just call it what it is: a meat alternative.

I like this particular grocery store chain. They sell good, healthy stuff. But they plucked a nerve with that stupid sign. I swear it goes back to folks these days being hyper-sensitive about everyone else's feelings. There has to be a balance between good sense and overkill.

And anything that ends in "urkey" but is proceeded by "tof" does not belong on a shelf under a sign advertising meats.

21 Comments:

  • Meat comes from something that is, as Anthony Bourdain says, slower and stupider than me. LOL

    That sign would annoy me too. Nothing in that section is actually meat. Hell, it's not even "meat-like".

    By Blogger Jay, at 4:57 PM  

  • Hey, you've turned on comment moderation. Did you get some negative comments?

    By Blogger Jay, at 4:58 PM  

  • I've been a vegetarian eating those substitutes most of my life.

    The vast majority of them taste like crap and have no business being referred to as meat anything.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 5:59 PM  

  • Jay, I like that quote. I'm a fan of Bourdain and watch his travel/food show from time to time.

    As for the comments, I didn't get any in the sense of people disagreeing with me, 'cause you know I don't mind those. I welcome 'em. But some nut job posting anonymously has left three lengthy rambling messages on my posts lately. Two came after a Michael Vick post and were like a page long and filled with rambling notes about the Bible, sex, and other random stuff, and filled with racial slurs, and other insane rants. The last was in my post about going to the hospital. That rant from anonymous was like three pages long and filled with even more of the same slurs, racist, mysoginistic crap, and other nutty babble. Clearly this person is off his/her meds. But what can I do? If they post a comment late at night and I don't see it till the next day I risk it sitting up there and maybe offending a new reader to the blog or giving you old faithfuls the impression that I'm not paying attention. I suppose if we go another week or so with nothing from anonymous. I'll turn comment moderation off.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 7:13 PM  

  • "Hefty" sounds like a garbage bag, to me, but hey.

    Bunch of my "heftier" friends and I call ourseves the "Husky boys" which, I guess, sounds like paper towels.

    Me, I'm fat. Fatness is a condition that can be resolved by diet and exercise. I know some people who are a**holes. That is NOT a condition that can often be improved, by any means. I'd rather be fat than an a**hole.

    An excellent post, as always. Meat comes from animals. Alternative meat comes from... alternative animals? Alien creatures? Mutants? Certainly not from plants.

    By Anonymous og, at 8:20 PM  

  • I dunno, any company brave enough to call their product TOFURKY is already begging to be ragged upon.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 9:19 PM  

  • Wow. That is something I have never seen. I'm familiar with tofu burgers and such (I'll stick to meat, thanks) and I appreciate Mrs. B's predicament... But I definitely agree with you - Meat Alternatives? Good gods, what a PC weird society we have become. Unbelievable.

    And you happened to have your camera with you. Good job! I take mine every where I go. Now you know why!

    "Meat Alternatives" - that's a head-shaker...

    By Blogger Aislínge, at 11:33 PM  

  • I happened to read this in the comments here:

    Jay, I like that quote. I'm a fan of Bourdain and watch his travel/food show from time to time.

    "As for the comments, I didn't get any in the sense of people disagreeing with me, 'cause you know I don't mind those. I welcome 'em. But some nut job posting anonymously has left three lengthy rambling messages on my posts lately. Two came after a Michael Vick post and were like a page long and filled with rambling notes about the Bible, sex, and other random stuff, and filled with racial slurs, and other insane rants. The last was in my post about going to the hospital. That rant from anonymous was like three pages long and filled with even more of the same slurs, racist, mysoginistic crap, and other nutty babble. Clearly this person is off his/her meds. But what can I do? If they post a comment late at night and I don't see it till the next day I risk it sitting up there and maybe offending a new reader to the blog or giving you old faithfuls the impression that I'm not paying attention. I suppose if we go another week or so with nothing from anonymous. I'll turn comment moderation off."

    Maybe you'll be okay with this idea, maybe not, but I would copy and paste those comments with the racial slurs in a new post and then give a fair and completely biased opinion on his or her native intelligence. ANYone so narrow-minded as to comment upon people based on such spurious things as racial differences clearly is not a part of the human race that we all comprise. Give it back without sinking to this unbelievable idiot's level!

    By Blogger Aislínge, at 11:41 PM  

  • my dad called it ersatz
    ... and for many years I really thought that margarine was ersatz and any meat substitute was ersatz.

    I enjoy tofu and soy products.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 1:44 AM  

  • Oh my--"alternative meat"LOLOL

    That would never fly here--anything except beef or pork is 'alternative' here ;-)

    By Blogger Turnbaby, at 1:56 PM  

  • As far as I'm concerned, you have meat, and you have vegetable protein. "Alternative Meats" is ridiculous. That's like putting a sign on hot dogs that says "Alternative Carrots".

    By Blogger BobG, at 2:27 PM  

  • at least they didn't have a sign for "pre-owned meat"

    By Blogger minijonb, at 3:36 PM  

  • "alternative carrots!"
    ROTLMAO!

    I was going to suggest that 'alternative meat' grows on alternative cows, but then I read bobg's comment. LOL.

    By Blogger C.L. Jahn, at 7:52 PM  

  • Hey JB - Sorry to bug you for a personal matter, but if I want to forward a resume for someone (writer and editor) to the Herald, to whom should it be addressed (and email addy)?

    Thank you!!
    Balou

    By Blogger Balou, at 9:28 PM  

  • Look guys, it's not a "single-operator earth moving implement" it's a spade!

    Several kinds of "Gah!"

    Hope the ol' ankle is back in fine form soon, JB.

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 5:49 AM  

  • Do people even eat that stuff? Putting that stuff in a food store even stretches it a bit for me.

    And the obese/hefty debate? It must be in the air. As I sit here and type this, I hear my staff discussing overweight girls. ~sighs~

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 12:01 PM  

  • Patience is a hard lesson isn't it. It's not easy for me either and I've been hobbling around a bit lately myself so I do have compassion here.

    So - things will get better for you, don't worry and your resilience will return as well.

    Goodlife.

    By Blogger Robert Shapiro, at 12:08 PM  

  • Hammer, Mrs. B is a part-time vegetarian. She still does poultry, fish, and beef here and there (mostly poultry). But you are the first vegetarian I've ever met to admit that a lot of that stuff tastes bad. I've tried. I just can't do it. Everytime I eat a veggie burger I feel like I'm eating ground cardboard.

    Og, you're right. Hefty does sound like a garbage bag. But you're not fat anymore. You've been on the program. How's that going for you?

    Sarc, I agree. Tofurky is like naming your kid Poindexter.

    Aislinge, I was lucky. No camera on me. But the camera on my cell phone works reasonably well in good light. And your suggestion about the vile comments is a good one. I may do it. Maybe not. I've done it before, and in some cases it seems to have worked to shame the writer into not doing it anymore. In other cases though, it seems to have egged on the writer to post even more vile comments.

    Pamela, you're funny. I'm gonna go have an ersatz burger now. Ha ha ha ha ha! I like some soy products. Not many though. Some of that stuff gives me a slight food-allergic reaction.

    Turnbaby, we're on the same plate...I mean team! Beef'n pork. Can't beat 'em.

    BobG, "alternative carrots" almost made me spit out my ersatz caffeine drink. Good one.

    MiniJonB, you are correct. "Pre-owned" meat would have been a deal breaker.

    C.l. Jahn, great minds think alike ;>)

    Balou, I left you a msg. on your blog w/instructions.

    BK, I once knew a garbage man who referred to his job as "waste engineer." And thank you. The ankle's getting better. I cast aside the crutches this morning and am walking - a little gimpy. But I'm walking.

    Christina, that stuff seems to sell well, at least in this particular store. Mrs. B has certainly been contributing to the sales since she got pregnant. And, I'm curious, your staff holding that discussion? Male or female? I have a theory about guys being terrified to discuss women's weight in mixed company.

    Robert Shapiro, thanks for the kind words. And welcome.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 2:45 PM  

  • Tofu in the right place, an appetizer in a Chinese restaurant, is very acceptable.

    However, when your aunt slips it in as a substitute meat in chili..?

    Meat alternative my h.... wh... ...!

    Although I am strangely ok with Portabellas as the meat alternative in sandwiches

    By Blogger dennis, at 3:46 PM  

  • Dennis, I'm with you on this one. I've had good tofu in Chinese food. But it was ID'd as tofu, not alternative meat. And Mrs. B got me to try one of those portabella sandwhiches some time back. It was surprisingly good.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 4:55 PM  

  • ""Turnbaby, we're on the same plate...I mean team! Beef'n pork. Can't beat 'em."

    Ah sugar--I should have been more clear. "Here" equals Kentucky--As for me--I love meat--but I am open minded about it;-)

    By Blogger Turnbaby, at 8:40 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home